Salt reduction yields extra benefits for type 2 diabetes patients

May 11, 2016, Queen Mary, University of London
Salt reduction yields extra benefits for type 2 diabetes patients
Credit: Queen Mary, University of London

In these patients, a reduction in salt intake led to a significant fall in blood pressure and urinary albumin excretion, a marker of cardiovascular disease. The reduction in urinary albumin excretion may carry additional benefits in reducing cardiovascular disease above the effects on blood pressure.

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK is currently estimated to be 3.5 million, 90 per cent of which have type 2 diabetes. Raised is one of the most important risk factors in type 2 diabetes, with at least a twofold increased risk in developing compared to those who do not have type 2 diabetes or glucose intolerance.

The study, published in Hypertension, looked at 46 individuals with type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance and normal or mildly raised blood pressure. Patients were randomised either to take salt tablets (5g salt/day), or the equivalent number of placebo tablets (0g salt) for six weeks. At the end of the six week period the participants crossed over to take the opposite tablets for a further six weeks. Blood pressure was measured before entry to the study and at the end of each six week period.

Study co-author Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at QMUL and Chairman of Consensus Action on Salt & Health said: "This study clearly demonstrates that salt reduction is effective in lowering blood pressure in patients with type 2 diabetes or glucose intolerance. This is the first time that this has been so conclusively demonstrated and it is important now that all patients with type 2 diabetes or are given appropriate advice on how to reduce their salt intake.

"This study also has public health implications in that it is vital that we continue to reduce salt intake in the UK by getting the food industry to take out the huge and completely unnecessary amounts of salt that they put into our food."

Dr Rebecca Suckling, Consultant Nephrologist at St Helier Hospital and lead author of the research, said: "This study is the first and largest study of dietary salt intake in patients with type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance early on in their disease and has shown that lowering salt intake reduces blood pressure and the urinary albumin level, both important risk factors for cardiovascular disease and kidney failure."

"Reducing blood pressure through lifestyle changes is recommended by all national and international guidelines but patients do not consistently receive any advice on lowering salt intake. This study highlights that all patients with type 2 and impaired should be given advice on lowering to levels at least less than 6g a day."

Explore further: Gene study could help heart patients cut craving for salt

More information: Rebecca J. Suckling et al. Modest Salt Reduction Lowers Blood Pressure and Albumin Excretion in Impaired Glucose Tolerance and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension (2016). DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.115.06637

Related Stories

Gene study could help heart patients cut craving for salt

March 29, 2016
Scientists have shed light on why some people crave salty food, even when they know it can seriously damage their health.

The downside of your sweet and salty addiction could be rapid-onset high blood pressure

April 6, 2016
Consumption of fructose, a fruit-derived sugar present in many sweetened beverages and processed foods, has been associated with epidemic levels of diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome and hypertension in the U.S. and around ...

Junk food causes similar high blood sugar levels as type 2 diabetes

May 10, 2016
A junk food diet can cause as much damage to the kidney as diabetes, according to a study published in Experimental Physiology.

America: Time to shake the salt habit?

March 28, 2013
The love affair between U.S. residents and salt is making us sick: high sodium intake increases blood pressure, and leads to higher rates of heart attack and strokes. Nonetheless, Americans continue to ingest far higher amounts ...

Many Americans trying to cut their salt intake: CDC

July 3, 2015
(HealthDay)—Worried about links between high daily salt intake, high blood pressure and stroke, half of American adults questioned in a recent poll say they've tried to cut back on sodium.

Recommended for you

Diabetes researchers find switch for fatty liver disease

May 17, 2018
Duke researchers have identified a key fork in the road for the way the liver deals with carbohydrates, fats and protein. They say it could be a promising new target for combating the pandemics of fatty liver disease and ...

New study of youth with type 1 diabetes connects 'honeymoon period' with lower LDL cholesterol

May 17, 2018
A new study by UMass Medical School physician-scientist Benjamin U. Nwosu, MD, finds that children with type 1 diabetes who experienced a partial clinical remission, or "honeymoon phase," had significantly lower low-density ...

"Living drug factories" may one day replace injections

May 17, 2018
Patients with diabetes generally rely on constant injections of insulin to control their disease. But MIT spinout Sigilon Therapeutics is developing an implantable, insulin-producing device that may one day make injections ...

Boosting the effects of vitamin D to tackle diabetes

May 10, 2018
More than 27 million people in the United States are living with type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the population ages and a growing percentage of people become overweight or ...

Very-low-carb diet shows promise in type 1 diabetes

May 7, 2018
Very-low-carbohydrate diets can improve blood sugar control in type 1 diabetes, with low rates of hypoglycemia and other complications, according to an online patient survey. The researchers, led by Belinda Lennerz, MD, PhD, ...

Brain activity helps explain diabetics' negative feelings, risk for depression

May 7, 2018
For millions of Americans who are obese and living with diabetes or prediabetes, feelings of sadness, anger and anxiety are often part of daily life.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.